Friday Night Lights return
by Tom Coombe
After a couple of false starts, the Ely Timberwolves are finally set to play on their home field.
An opening-week game was cancelled when Silver Bay didn’t field a team this season, while Friday’s home debut with Cromwell was played in Aurora, because of construction issues on the Ely school campus.
This week, Ely fans should finally get the chance to see the high school football team play in town, as the Wolves have a Sept. 16 clash with Bigfork, slated for 7 p.m. at Ely School Stadium.
With construction crews paving the parking lots on the school campus as the Echo went to press, prospects for the home game appeared to be growing.
For practices so far this year, the Wolves have had to access the field and locker rooms via the arena side of the football facility, but the stadium and bleachers are expected to be open and accessible for the Sept. 16 game.
The home contest comes amid optimism about the 2022 season.
Ely has 27 players in grades 9-12, several more than they did a year ago, and return experience on both sides of the ball.
Second-year head coach was impressed with the Wolves’ performance and effort in a late-August scrimmage at Mt. Iron, where Ely took on Bigfork, North Central and Cook County over a three-hour span.
Senior running backs Erron Anderson and Jason Kerntz return and give the Wolves a solid one-two punch in the backfield, while senior Gunnar Hart has stepped in at quarterback.
The offensive line is anchored by junior Cente rAshton Cook, with sophomore Alex Merriman, seniors Logan Meskill and Jakson Hegman and junior Kohner Baltich up front.
Many of the same players will also lead the Wolves on defense.
The Wolves, because of the cooperative with Northeast Range, are classified as an 11-man Class A program for the postseason but will continue to play a 9-man schedule this fall.